The Gas Processors Association (GPA) on Monday renamed itself as the GPA Midstream Association to more clearly identify the role it has undertaken in recent years.

At the association’s 95th annual convention in New Orleans, CEO Mark Sutton explained the evolution of the longtime trade association.

“I don’t care if your business is one year old or nearly 100 years like ours, the name change process is neither easy nor fun, but it was necessary for us,” Sutton said. “Plain and simple, we’re no longer made up only of ‘gas processors’ and, in reality, that’s been the case for several years now. Our membership today represents every aspect of the midstream industry, and it’s time that we make that claim.”

Tulsa-based GPA has become more visible in Washington, DC, after opening its first office there last year (see Daily GPI, Jan. 22 2015).

“Our association has made great strides in being a respected authority in legislative and regulatory arenas in dealing with everything midstream,” Sutton said. “Government and environmental groups know us as GPA, and GPA Midstream keeps that identity plus bolsters our position as the experts on midstream issues even more.”

“GPA Midstream Association” will have no abbreviation and no reference to “Gas Processors Association” going forward.

The name change is actually the fifth for the association since it was founded in 1921. Originally the Association of Natural Gasoline Manufacturers, the name was changed in 1927 to Natural Gasoline Association of America. In 1961 it became the Natural Gas Processors Association, which in 1974 was shortened to Gas Processors Association.

GPA Midstream represents nearly 100 corporate members, mostly U.S.-based. Members are engaged in gathering and processing natural gas into saleable pipeline gas.

In opening remarks Monday, Chairman John Mollenkopf, who also is COO of MarkWest Energy Partners LP, said he sees continuing fallout from depressed natural gas and oil prices — and federal oversight.

“As a result of the international community’s concern with reducing greenhouse gas emissions caused by the production and consumption of fossil fuels, our industry has clearly become a focal point for our government regulators,” he said. “Gathering, processing, fractionation and transportation of natural gas are all now under review for potential reductions in methane and other emissions.”

As “experts in these matters,” he said, GPA Midstream members are “willing and able to work with regulators to ensure that any proposed regulations are effective, technically feasible and economically reasonable, while continuing to provide the midstream services necessary to serve our nation’s demands.”